[ Triad Online Home ]
Training

Marines find McCoy facilities inspire training successes

      U.S. Marines from Marine Air Control Group (MACG)-48 of Great Lakes, Ill., found that Fort McCoy offered them everything they needed from ranges to training areas to successfully conduct annual training from July 26-Aug. 8, said Maj. Christian Miller of MACG-48.

Marines from the Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines conduct training exercises at Fort McCoy.  The 2nd, 24th trained with MACG-48 during its annual training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Anita Johnson)
Marines from the Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines conduct training exercises at Fort McCoy.  The 2nd, 24th trained with MACG-48 during its annual training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Anita Johnson)

      The Marines trained in skills needed for their military occupational specialty and basic warrior skills, Miller said. 

      The training also included training support sessions with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, a Reserve Marine unit from Waukegan, Ill., that trained at McCoy from July 27-Aug. 10. 

      The MACG-48 mission is to provide command and control for the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and serve as a link between ground and air forces, Miller said.

      "We learned about Fort McCoy opportunities from personnel from a Marine Corporal leadership class that trained at Fort McCoy," Miller said.  "They told us about all the resources and training areas."

      Mark Stelzner and Claude Gillam were among the Fort McCoy Directorate of Training, Mobilization and Support (DTMS) personnel who held several coordination sessions with the Marines.

Marines from MACG-48 fire a Mark-19 grenade launcher at a training range at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)
Marines from MACG-48 fire a Mark-19 Grenade Launcher at a training range at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)

      Gillam said the DTMS personnel answered unit questions and helped schedule ranges. "This is the same, general support we give to any units that are coming to Fort McCoy to train - both new and repeat customers," he said.

      The installation also hosts an annual training coordination conference to help units coordinate training at Fort McCoy, he said.

      DTMS support made the training go well and helped the Marines accomplish all the training objectives they had scheduled as well as several objectives that were included if time permitted, Miller said.

      "We got phenomenal support," Miller said.  "Our training went like clockwork."

      The Marines trained in martial arts, which included using elements of several different martial arts programs in a specific way on the battlefield, he said.  The unit also focused on skills that would be needed in Southwest Asia, such as convoy operations, land navigation and weapons marksmanship.

Marines from MACG-48 fire a mounted Mark-19 Grenade Launcher at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)
Marines from MACG-48 fire a mounted Mark-19 Grenade Launcher at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)

      Lance Cpl. Robert Clarke, a marksmanship instructor for MACG-48, said Fort McCoy's ranges provided good, effective access and training opportunities with its assortment of pop-up targets.

      Cpl. Adam Payne, an electronic equipment repairman and generator mechanic, said the weapons ranges had more high-tech features than the ranges he usually trains on.

      The martial-arts training also allowed the Marines to practice and develop hand-to-hand combat skills to defeat the enemy.  Payne said the land navigation courses provided good training, as well.

      Lance Cpl. Scot Cruickshank, an aviation radio repairman with MACG-48, said training with the targets at unknown distances helped the Marines develop good marksmanship skills. 

      Shooting weapons ranging from M-16s to squad automatic weapons also was good training, he said.  "We usually don't get to use the big weapons," he said.

      Cpl. Melissa Josephson, a supply operations specialist with MACG-48, said it was her first time training with the Air Wing and she appreciated the opportunity to fire a lot of the weapons.

Marines from MACG-48 practice martial-arts skills. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)
Marines from MACG-48 practice martial-arts skills. (Photo by Capt. J.T. Silva)

      "Most of our jobs are support jobs and it's nice to get the green side of training, the field stuff that are things commonly done or used by the infantry and grunts," Josephson said.  Josephson also was the range high shooter.

      Cpl. Blake Poindexter, an embarkation specialist with MACG-48, said he appreciated the installation's physical training facilities and fields, particularly for the martial-arts programs.

      Poindexter was one of the members of the unit to qualify for his gray belt, which is the second level of the five levels available in the program.

[ Top of Page ]

[ Triad Online Home  ]